Genomic epidemiology of the opportunistic pathogen Staphylococcus coagulans from companion dogs

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Abstract

Introduction
Staphylococcus coagulans (formerly Staphylococcus schleiferi ssp. coagulans) is a common commensal and opportunistic pathogen of companion dogs. It carries a range of antimicrobial resistance genes and is an occasional zoonotic pathogen.
Hypothesis/Gap Statement
Despite the potential insight offered by genome sequencing into the biology of S. coagulans, few genomes are currently available for study.
Aim
To sequence and analyse S. coagulans genomes to improve understanding of this organism’s molecular epidemiology, antimicrobial resistance and bacterium-host interactions
Methodology
Twenty-five genomes of clinical isolates collected at a veterinary referral hospital in Scotland, UK where sequenced with Illumina technology. These genomes were analysed by a series of bioinformatics tools along with sixteen previously sequenced genomes.
Results
Phylogenetic comparison of the forty-one genomes shows that the current S. coagulans phylogeny is dominated by clades of closely-related isolates, at least one of which has spread internationally. Ten of the eleven methicillin-resistant S. coagulans genomes in this collection of forty-one encoded mecA promoter and gene mutations that are predicted to render the isolates susceptible to penicillins in the presence of clavulanic acid. A feature only described to date in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Seven such isolates were from the current study and in line with the genome-based prediction, all were susceptible to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid in vitro. S. coagulans shared very few highly-conserved virulence associated genes with Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, another common commensal and opportunistic canine pathogen.
Conclusion
The availability of a further twenty-five genome sequences from clinical S. coagulans isolates will aid with better understanding the epidemiology, bacterial-host interactions and antimicrobial resistance of this opportunistic pathogen.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Early online date25 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Aug 2021

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